Certainly a different approach to this way of racing

This is for members to ask questions and just have a chat about the Barcelona Test Loft
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Andy123
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May 26th, 2019, 9:30 pm

A bit of a different round up this time.
I think it is important to continually sit back and evaluate how things are going both with the system the individual birds, especially after every race.
I do agree with a lot of what Eastyorkflyer says and years ago I would have been the same with how ruthless I was with the birds to the point where during the years that I was doing my best I wouldn’t have anything in the team that hadn’t scored in the first 3 in the club. My race team was full of winners apart from the odd yearlings and all of the few stock birds had bred winners, again apart from the odd one that was being tried. This was mainly sprint/middle distance racing on the North road to Worthing on the South Coast, although I did get some reasonable results from Thurso 550mls and won Lerwick at 650mls. I have never been one for either buying pigeons or pedigree’s, although do keep good records of my own. I do think that most of us will have birds of as good quality as anything you could buy you just need to be able to evaluate your birds and through selective breeding improve what you already have. I do know that a lot won’t agree with me.
As most of you know after a 13 year break from the sport I restarted late in 2015.
I wasn’t on this forum then but decided that I wanted to concentrate on the long to Marathon distance races. I hadn’t intended on getting as serious with the sport when I re-entered but you know how it is :lol: :lol:
I didn’t particularly know anyone when I re-started and as I wasn’t going to keep many I brought 4 latebred stock birds from Louella. A Kirkpatrick and a King of the Faroes cocks and 2 Jan Aarden hens, plus I had one hen that mum had at her home which was the only one she had left of our dads after he died. I lost all of these when trying to break them but until after I had bred some youngsters from them. I knew I had to join a club to have my clock done and the nearest to me was the Frome SRFC, which is nearly 3/4 of an hour away. At that time they were in the WOESRC. I also joined the BICC. Having joined Frome I started to race in their race program which was mainly along the South Coast from 35mls to 92mls. I bred my first team of 12 youngsters from the Louella birds in 2016 but didn’t race them as youngsters. I started training them as yearlings and following a hawk strike on the first trainer lost 5. I then sent 5 to the first race and didn’t see a pigeon. Not a great start back, so that was my old bird season over. I had joined this forum in the autumn of 2016 and made some good friends from the off. I was offered youngsters from Dev, Rainbow and Rich to test out, which I greatfully accepted. As I was racing then with Frome and the race program was what it was these weren’t inparticularl long distance birds. Along with a few youngsters I had bred from my own 2016 birds before I lost them I had a reasonable team for the 2017 youngbird season. In the first youngbird race I was 1,2,4 & 5 with the winner being one from Rainbow, in the second race I was 2,3, 5 & 6. They then went down with YBS so stopped racing for a couple of weeks. After starting again after a couple of weeks they again kept getting in the results although not another 1st. During the winter of 2017/18 as a club we decided to resign from the WOESRC and just race in Classics and Nationals. It was also during December of 2017 that it was suggested that we start up a Barcelona loft for the forum. As you all know now I was happy to take up this challenge. So also then joined the CSCFC and NFC, also the BBC this year. Anyway that’s the background, now back to the reasoning behind this post.
With what we are trying to do and the racing I am now doing this is much different from what I have done in the past. Every race is across the channel and is a national or classic against fanciers from right along the South Coast and well up country. This means that the birds are tested every race and don’t only have to compete against the weather but also the drag to wherever the prevailing wind takes them. I think to a degree that the further the races get to a degree the easier it will become for them to sort themselves out. In these early shorter races they are still in big batches when they reach the French Coast and will be dragged across to the English Coast to whatever point the bulk are going. This could turn what should be a 200 mile race for me into a 300+ one. Once the distance gets greater they should have more time to sort themselves out before reaching the French Coast and be in smaller batches hopefully heading more of the right way.
I think this is much tougher racing and don’t think I can expect them to have more than 4 races each a year especially with the amount of time that they spend in the basket. So having said all this I don’t think that at this stage I can condemn any pigeon for being late. Of course also apart from the odd yearlings in the old bird team most weren’t bred for doing the extreme distance. With the way things are going I am quite happy with my methods and have proved that you can safely jump birds in at over 200 miles and get them.
Looking at the old birds I have in the loft at present There are I think 4 that are really showing promise but a few more that still need to be given time to prove if they have got it or not. As I said at the start of this post I used to be quite ruthless but I think at present I have to be a bit more patient. The aim of this project is not only to be able to test birds for other members of the forum but also ultimately to produce a team of good distance pigeons from proven pigeons.
The 4 that at present I would say are showing real prospect are Pete’s Blue Chequer Cock that was on the day from both young bird races and next day from his first race this year flown out showing real determination to get home. Magic’s Red cock that was on the day from his first young bird race and next day from the next and of course 1st bird yesterday. Then we have George’s Grizzle hen who although is not in the Barcelona team and may not go past Tarbes 550 miles.. She scored twice as a youngster inland. Then made a mistake from Messac last year when she was missing for 18 days but was the 1st bird from Le Mans 240 miles a few weeks later and was again on the day yesterday. The other one is my hen that was 1st bird from Alencon last year and then next day from the bad Poitiers race last year although she hasn’t raced yet this year as I can’t get her right. There are some others that have done well to keep getting home but are having a few to many nights out. We know that this is a long term project and maybe in time I may be able to be harder and more selective with them but in these early stages I think that any that get home have to be given chances.
This is a much different and harder program than I have ever done in the past and we are still in the very early years yet. A lot of good pigeons have been missing over the last few weeks but if any good most should return in time.
Sorry for the long post.
Eastyorkflyer
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May 26th, 2019, 9:45 pm

Good post mate 👍 and each to there own there is no rules it's do as you feel is right something I found interesting is the distance you talk isn't that dramatic at 7 months my birds will do 250 no problems in under five hours usually just over 4 for the best of that yb bunch I believe in been strict with culling and buying consistent quality stock also is important but I also respect someone trying to build a family that can do this so keep it up and when I get that yb I'll arrange delivery with you I will send you one of mine also 👌
buster121
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May 26th, 2019, 9:52 pm

Great post Andy and well done on your achievements to date and good luck for the future
Petedav
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May 26th, 2019, 9:59 pm

Great post Andy, I have started to be a bit more ruthless with my birds this year due to lack of space really, if they have a night out more than once I have culled them and I am now left with 16 old birds that race most weeks and get home on the day, I will see how many I have left at the end of the season as we are now getting to the longer races.
ConorP
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May 26th, 2019, 10:13 pm

Interesting post mate look forward to your updates too especially with the national races coming along
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lestheeagle
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May 27th, 2019, 7:54 am

WD Andy. Love your posts, mate. :D
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
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rainbow
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May 27th, 2019, 8:20 am

good post Andy what makes you think mine will only go to 550 mls when the others will go 700 mls
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Andy123
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May 27th, 2019, 9:44 am

rainbow wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 8:20 am
good post Andy what makes you think mine will only go to 550 mls when the others will go 700 mls
Only because as far as I’m aware your Grizzle wasn’t bred to particularly be sent to this distance. The others were, but I am quite happy to push her on and see if you would like me too. It probably won’t be until 2 years time anyway. My aim this year noe is to try and get most to either Bergerac or Bordeaux both around 450 mls. Next year the aim is to push these on to Tarbes at 550 mls. Then hopefully we will have our first crack at Barcelona in 2021.
I’m aiming on giving your hen probably 2 more races this year. Le Mans 240mls and Bordeaux 438mls.
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rainbow
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May 27th, 2019, 10:45 am

that's fine Andy but were are the birds that you thought and were told they could do 700 mls from the ybs you started with 2 years ago how many are left, if you look 2 years ahead I think you would be very lucky to have one bird it's also very likely that 700 ml race would go into 2-3 days so for me a good 500 ml bird should be on the 2nd day as for getting one on the day from what breeders tell you good luck I would like the grizzle to have 400mls this year my only concern is not having a few inland races before 400mls having said this I have no regrets in sending you the grizzle and do wish you the very best can someone tell me why the letters are very large george
Eastyorkflyer
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May 27th, 2019, 10:54 am

rainbow wrote:
May 27th, 2019, 10:45 am
that's fine Andy but were are the birds that you thought and were told they could do 700 mls from the ybs you started with 2 years ago how many are left, if you look 2 years ahead I think you would be very lucky to have one bird it's also very likely that 700 ml race would go into 2-3 days so for me a good 500 ml bird should be on the 2nd day as for getting one on the day from what breeders tell you good luck I would like the grizzle to have 400mls this year my only concern is not having a few inland races before 400mls having said this I have no regrets in sending you the grizzle and do wish you the very best can someone tell me why the letters are very large george
you can get good distance birds that are guaranteed to do that distance my brother in law has jelle jellema birds they will do massive distances no problems but they are £750 each not a cheap exercise but like anything you get what you pay for I believe I like what Andy is attempting to achieve tho and I'm getting a gift distance bird that I'm going to re gift to Andy
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